Multistage multiantigen heterologous prime boost vaccine for Plasmodium knowlesi malaria provides partial protection in rhesus macaques.
Rogers WO., Baird JK., Kumar A., Tine JA., Weiss W., Aguiar JC., Gowda K., Gwadz R., Kumar S., Gold M., Hoffman SL.
A nonhuman primate model for malaria vaccine development allowing reliable, stringent sporozoite challenge and evaluation of both cellular and antibody responses is needed. We therefore constructed a multicomponent, multistage DNA vaccine for the simian malaria species Plasmodium knowlesi including two preerythrocytic-stage antigens, the circumsporozoite protein (PkCSP) and sporozoite surface protein 2 (PkSSP2), and two blood stage antigens, apical merozoite antigen 1 (PkAMA1) and merozoite surface protein 1 (PkMSP1p42), as well as recombinant canarypox viruses encoding the four antigens (ALVAC-4). The DNA vaccine plasmids expressed the corresponding antigens in vitro and induced antiparasite antibodies in mice. Groups of four rhesus monkeys received three doses of a mixture of the four DNA vaccine plasmids and a plasmid encoding rhesus granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor, followed by boosting with a single dose of ALVAC-4. Three groups received the priming DNA doses by different routes, either by intramuscular needle injection, by intramuscular injection with a needleless injection device, the Biojector, or by a combination of intramuscular and intradermal routes by Biojector. Animals immunized by any route developed antibody responses against sporozoites and infected erythrocytes and against a recombinant PkCSP protein, as well as gamma interferon-secreting T-cell responses against peptides from PkCSP. Following challenge with 100 P. knowlesi sporozoites, 1 of 12 experimental monkeys was completely protected and the mean parasitemia in the remaining monkeys was significantly lower than that in 4 control monkeys. This model will be important in preclinical vaccine development.